In the old days, hiring a new employee meant collecting resumes and applications on paper. It meant painstakingly reading through each and filing them away, then contacting the best applicants – or just talking with the ones motivated enough to give your office a visit. There were no personality quizzes, no filter questions, and certainly no software to keep track of applicants and filtered candidates.
These days, the opposite is true. Not only can you use an applicant tracking system and recruiting platform to manage all of your candidates, you have choice as to which platform you use. Three of the most popular are Jobvite, Greenhouse, and Lever.
If you're in the position to be making a decision about which one to pick, you may be looking for more details and opinions. Let's compare them all.
Jobvite is one of the oldest and largest of the applicant management platforms. The company was founded in 2003 under the name ForumJobs and was renamed to its current name in 2006. The name reflects their process: creating "job invitations" or jobvites to individuals or on social media.
As an older company, one of the first fears you might have is that Jobvite is not "with the times." In fact, the company has remained very agile, with modern additions to their platform that reflect the changing processes companies are using to hire new talent. This applies to both the candidate end and the company end of the process. For example:
- Jobvite Hire is a traditional applicant tracking system. It manages everything from open positions to applications to interview scheduling.
- Jobvite Engage is a contact management system that includes information about applicants, their status, their contact info, how recently they've been actively in touch, and other details. It has several quality of life features, including the ability to detect and prune duplicates and to maintain communication with interested candidates.
- Jobvite Text is a communications platform allowing your hiring manager to reach out and communicate with potential new hires via text messaging. The modern atmosphere of spam phone calls combined with a focus on fast, text-based communication means a text can be more effective at reaching candidates than phone calls.
- Jobvite Mobile allows you to directly review candidates from a mobile device. Apps for both iOS and Android allow you to access your system at any time. It also helps notify and remind you of interviews, approvals, and other details.
Jobvite isn't just a back-end platform, either. A huge part of any hiring process is the career portal, the hub where interested candidates can visit to read about your company, about your available positions, and about the job requirements they need to meet. Jobvite allows you to put together an authentic, high quality career site. To see one in action, just look at some of their high profile clients, like Blizzard Entertainment.
In addition to managing your career portal, Jobvite also has an array of tools to help maintain and engage with a candidate pool. They essentially have a pared-down, specialized content management system, like you would use for marketing and blogging. This allows you to create what are effectively job-focused landing pages, newsletters, and even social media campaigns, all from within the same platform. For those of you already using a marketing CMS, this helps keep marketing campaigns and recruiting campaigns separate, while still managing them with detailed control.
On top of that, Jobvite doesn't abandon you once the decision is made to hire a new employee. They have an entire section of their app dedicated to setting up and maintaining an onboarding process. For many employees, the first day is make it or break it. That first impression determines how engaged that employee will be with your company, so giving them the best first impression is crucial.
One of the primary benefits of Jobvite is that their platform handles a lot of tedious details and busywork related to hiring automatically. In addition to doing a lot of "virtual paperwork", the platform also has semi-intelligent automation to help with, for example, parsing resumes and pre-screening applicants. This helps automatically pre-qualify your candidate pool before you even start looking at them.
One major benefit of Jobvite, which comes from being part of the industry for nearly two decades, is their integration with other software and services. If you already use other apps, such as Accurate for background checks, ADP for payroll, or DocuSign for contracts, these apps all have integrations directly with the Jobvite platform. There are dozens of these on the Jobvite marketplace, so you can check if a critical app is integrated before you buy in.
Pricing for Jobvite is, as you might expect, hidden behind a sales call. Specific pricing depends on the size of your organization, with smaller orgs in the 25-50 employee range getting pricing around $4,000 per year, while enterprise organizations seeing $100,000 per year for 2,500-5,000 employees. For specific pricing, of course, you'll need to go through their sales process yourself.
Lever is one of the newer companies to enter the recruiting and candidate management sphere, being founded in 2012. The company started off strong with plenty of seed capital and series funding, and has had some big-name tech folks working at it since its inception.
Lever divides their services into four categories. First is Lever Hire, which is their talent pipeline. It captures applicants, keeps them engaged, and maintains a central database for information from multiple sources. One of the biggest roadblocks in some other talent management platforms is having to check different windows or different databases for data about the same applicant; Lever makes sure it's all visible in the same place.
Lever Analytics is a data-driven insights view. The platform aggregates data and estimates metrics for each applicant, for a firm and data-first view on candidates. This strives to help minimize decision making based on impressions or gut feelings, replacing it with tangible data on applicants in your pipeline.
Lever Nurture is their version of a marketing CMS. It's where your career portal is managed, it's where communication with applicants is performed, and its where you filter your most engaged applicants for the roles where they fit.
Finally, the Level Talent Cloud Connect system is their broader ecosystem, connecting each of these systems with different parts of your business. Keep managers in the fold, make sure HR has all of the data they need to process new hires, and ensure the new employee is ready within your system as soon as possible.
Much like Jobvite, Lever has a wide array of integrations with existing third party apps. These range from the usual facilities like DocuSign or Adobe Sign for documents, ADP for HR, and so on, all the way to pulling data on applicants directly from platforms like AngelList. Many of their integrations involve important data from profiles on other sites, to pull applicant profiles and contact information into your own system.
In terms of pricing, Lever is divided into three plans. The Starter plan gives you access to social referral tracking, email and calendar syncing, scheduling for interviews, pipeline customization, interview kits, reporting, and broad-spectrum job board syndication, among other features.
Pro, the second step up, has all of the above, along with integration with advanced sourcing tools, LinkedIn Recruiter integration, Slack, electronic signature processing, offer approvals, headcount restrictions, and more. Finally, the Enterprise version adds on team management features like single sign-on, the data API, and custom fields.
Pricing is, again, hidden behind a quote. In general it seems to range from around $3,500 annually for small companies up to $140,000 per year for companies with 500-1,000 or more employees. Pricing starts off cheaper than Jobvite for small businesses, but quickly ramps up for much larger organizations.
One crucial detail it's worth mentioning about Lever is that it's heavily focused on the Google application suite, given that many of the founders of the company came from Google in the first place. That means it was based on using Gmail, Google Calendar, and other Google tools for many of its functions. For some companies, this might be a deal-breaker, so it's a good detail to have up-front.
Greenhouse is another relative newcomer to the recruiting platform space. It was also founded in 2012 and raised a similar amount of funding as Lever.
Greenhouse is almost the best of both worlds. They're large and established enough to be aware of older techniques and processes for hiring and managing candidates, but they're new and agile enough to use modern data analysis and machine optimization to recommend the best candidates for any given position.
The Greenhouse pipeline system uses more than just discrete data points to fill positions. They use a holistic view of each candidate, which includes looking at tangible data points as well as things like social activity, engagement with your brand, and other data to form a clear picture of the candidate.
The platform also strives to make collaboration within its system as easy and seamless as possible. Built-in messaging allows team members from different departments easy ways to contact one another and talk about potential hires, and a fine-grained permissions system allows anyone from the head of HR to a stakeholder to see individualized amounts of data within the system, while maintaining the privacy of candidates and employees.
One of the biggest selling points for Greenhouse is their emphasis on diversity and inclusion. One of the biggest problems in modern hiring is inherent bias and a lack of diversity in employee rosters and in the hiring process. Greenhouse strives to provide more diverse options and to foster an inclusive team within your organization. They do this in partnership with Paradigm, to help minimize unconscious bias and treat all applicants equally.
Greenhouse will monitor your hiring practices and can help identify if, say, your decision-makers are consistently passing over qualified women in favor of less qualified men, or are ignoring applicants with foreign-sounding names, or other biases that may be intentional or unconscious.
Another strength of the Greenhouse platform is a robust onboarding process. Jobvite has onboarding as well, but Grennhouse has a more detailed and customizable platform for it. You can slate up a to-do list for new employees with everything from documents they need to digitally sign to tasks for them to complete as new hires, to fact sheets about the company and the position they've taken on.
Like Lever, Greenhouse has three tiers of service: Core, Pro, and Enterprise. Core has all of the primary features, like applicant tracking, a structured hiring funnel, multi-channel sourcing, and access to their mobile app, their integrations, and support and training for their system.
Pro adds reporting, scaled workflows, and single sign-on to the mix. Enterprise has all of the above with features like enhanced security, a developer toolkit to add your own modules, advanced-level anonymization and privacy features, and more.
Pricing for Greenhouse is on the higher end, around $6,000 annually for small businesses, up to $100,000 or higher for much larger companies with 5,000+ employees.
Which Platform Should You Pick?
All three platforms have similar features and a more or less similar range of pricing. The first thing to do is to visit each site and check their feature lists, looking for anything that is a must-have or is a deal breaker for your company.
All else being equal, Lever is probably the best platform for small businesses with under, say, 250 employees. Their pricing is lower and their features are adequate.
Jobvite is a solid option for small and mid-sized businesses. If your business is still using old methods of hiring candidates, their modern solutions will be a welcomed change.
Greenhouse is excellent for larger businesses, and some of their features – particularly their inclusivity features – are extremely useful in some sectors.
At the end of the day, though, the decision is yours; all three are perfectly adequate and functional for their purpose.
Andrew Greenberg’s roots in recruiting date back to 1996. He has experience both on the agency-side and corporate-side of the staffing business, with a focus in the financial services space at companies like Bloomberg and UBS. He also has core experience with information technology staffing, and has worked for major software companies such as SAP Business Objects and IBM/Informix Software. To get in touch with Andrew, you can reach him by email or by phone at (800) 797-6160.